Blog Site Discontinued June 23, 2017

Welcome. This blog site, healthy eating and food safety, has been discontinued as of June 23, 2017. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Avocado Oil

Avocado Oil

Move aside coconut oil; avocado oil is taking center stage!  You can expect to see this oil being used on cooking shows, sold in specialty grocery stores and online. 
Avocado oil is derived by running the avocado fruit through a press. The pulp of the fruit is mashed, and then spun in a drum at high speeds to separate the pulp from the oil.

More is known about the health benefits of whole avocados than about avocado oil. Diets rich in avocados may lower blood pressure as well as cholesterol. The magnesium in whole avocados possesses blood pressure-lowering properties. Whole avocados also contain potassium, which lessens the effect of sodium on the body. It is unclear whether or not these same health benefits are transferrable to avocado oil.
Remember that your body needs some fat, but fat is high in calories. The fat in avocados is monounsaturated fat, which is considered a “healthy” fat; however, it is possible to get too much, even of the “good” kinds of fat. Adults should aim for 20–35 percent of their calories from fat, with more coming from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat than saturated and trans fat.
Avocado oil has a high smoke point (meaning the oil doesn’t start to break down and burn until a high temperature is reached), making it ideal for searing and browning. Avocado oil can be more expensive than other oils on the shelf. If using avocado oil, stretch it by using equal parts avocado oil and canola oil in recipes.
The flavor of avocado oil is slightly grassy with a very mild avocado flavor. It tastes more neutral than olive oil, especially once it's cooked. Avocado oil is meant for medium-high heat use. That means you can use it to sauté and bake (up to 449°F), but you can't deep fry with it.

Here are some suggestions for using avocado oil.
  • Drizzle it over fish before baking or roasting.
  • Place some in a dish and combine with sea salt or red pepper flakes for a simple dip for bread.
  • Use it to top your guacamole at your next football party.
  • Drizzle it over hummus and serve with crudités.
  • Toss a pound of cubed root vegetables in a tablespoon or two of it and roast for 40 minutes at 400°.
  • Use it instead of olive oil in your favorite salad dressing. Try the one below
    Adapted from Iowa State University Extension 

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